Life

body image.

Recently a few blog posts & youtube videos about body confidence have popped up on my social media. These posts have come from girls of all shapes and sizes, mostly in their early twenties and/or attending university.¬† They’ve discussed calorie counting and exercising, late-night pizza’s and weight gain, and they’ve all had me nodding along at points. It inspired me to write a bit myself on the topic.

I don’t really want to write about weight gain as I’ve started moving from early to late teens and from school to college life (I have), or about how even when I weighed less I had body issues (yup) or about how I’ve overcome body issues and am now confident because we’re all beautiful in our own ways.. to be honest with you, that would be a lie. I don’t think I have overcome my body issues and I am not sure I ever will 100%, but I am more grateful for the body I have now than I have been before. It’s not that I prefer this body to the admittedly slimmer one that looked nicer in that dress three years ago, but I’ve learned to appreciate that there are parts of my body other people wish they had instead of their own and vice versa. So instead of pining over the bits I hate, I might as well try and see myself through their eyes and appreciate what I’ve got!

As a teenager, my biggest insecurity was probably my acne. As I’ve come out of my teens and my skin has improved it has become less of an issue for me, but it does still affect me. Going anywhere, or even having unexpected visitors, without at least tinted moisturizer on my face makes me feel insanely insecure. Now part of this is down to the fact that I’ve very pale skin and when I go completely barefaced everyone repeatedly asks if I am tired and/or ill (which is just fabulous for my self-confidence!), but I think the main source of this insecurity is that even though I know logically my skin is fine, that anxiety about my acne is so ingrained in me that I’ve developed some kind of body dysmorphia about it.

Even now, sitting here writing about body confidence, I can’t bring myself to actually talk about those two or three parts of my body that I am most insecure about. Despite the fact that everyone else can see my body and make their own assumptions about it, somehow pointing out what I see as massive flaws seems like inviting people to focus on them and make judgments – something I certainly don’t want to encourage! In the past when people have made remarks about these parts of my body, not even in a negative way but more just pointing them out for one reason or another, it’s made me feel so terrible I still remember it years later. This is something I am trying to work on, maybe in the future I’ll be able to write about these things without a sense of (ridiculous) dread, when I’ve begun to overcome them.

For now I’ll make a compromise of writing about one thing that isn’t a permanent feature, but is one of the most prominent body issues I deal with.¬†A lot of girls out there will probably relate to¬†feeling particularly down about their bodies¬†around that time of the month due to hormonal issues which can cause lower self-esteem, spots and bloating.¬†For me bloating is one of the biggest issues I have when it comes to body confidence and unfortunately, it’s one of the most common symptoms my anxiety causes. The more anxious I am the more likely I am to experience stomach cramps which may or may not cause bloating in and off themselves, or the medication I take for the stomach cramps cause bloating. Take into account that any kind of event like a concert, a houseparty, a holiday, a presentation etc triggers my anxiety (generalized anxiety disorder), I am usually bloated when I want to look my best. This is really damaging to my body confidence as you might imagine. I can order a dress online, try it on when it arrives and think yes that looks great, then a week later when I am actually going out, look down at myself and want to cry because my stomach is at least double the size it was when I last put it on! It’s incredibly frustrating but it’s also something I can’t really change, and the more I worry about it the worse it’s likely to get, so the only way I can deal with it is say fuck it!

When I think about it, anxiety is the cause of a lot of my body issues, another one being¬†eczema ¬†– nothing like patchy and irritated skin as a base for make-up and tanning products! But… after a couple of years I’ve come to understand that I can attempt to treat these problems with E45 and¬†spot creams and the likes, but at the end of the day they’ll all persist or evolve in to something else until I learn to cope with the root cause itself. For me that means that accepting my body and not allowing it to exacerbate my anxiety disorder is particularly important, so all I can do is keep marching on and hope one day I can write a blog post about body image and know that I am happy where I am at.

This post was inspired by a number of lovely ladies including Eilis, Eimear, Arden, Hannah & Melanie (video below).

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Life, Opinions

Vegan Friendly Youtubers You Need To Check Out

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Something I struggle with on an almost daily basis is eating well. There’s periods where I crave orange & raspberry smoothies, avocado on brown bread and black bean burgers with leafy green salads… but if I am honest 99% of the time I just want a big bar of Galaxy chocolate and a flat white. I’ve seen the sugar documentaries, the vegan documentaries and Jamie Oliver’s (brilliant) Ted Talk.. but on a day to day basis my stomach seems to overrule my brain when it comes to thinking about how beneficial a bowl of soup is over a plate of chips.

The one thing that’s helped me the most in this area is… youtube! From¬†chef’s to vloggers, my main foodie inspo comes from Youtube. The following channels either provide 1) Tasty recipes 2) Drool worthy aesthetics or 3) Both. They’re also mostly vegan (or at least vegetarian) which I personally think is the healthiest, most environmentally friendly & ethically superior diet on the planet. I am ¬†a vegetarian (which means I can’t eat meat/fish but can eat dairy/eggs), but I¬†tend to make mostly vegan food if I am cooking for myself. I might go into this further in another blog post but for now I am going to avoid the ~ controversial ~ topic of veganism and preaching at y’all about animal agriculture and instead woo you to the veggie/vegan side with aesthetically pleasing, drool-worthy food that will make you feel good too. Promise.

1) TheHappyPear

First up is Ireland’s very own Stephen and David Flynn! The Flynn twins have two cookbooks out, a caf√© in Greystones and a range of products now available in Supervalu like pesto’s, hummus’s, soup’s… basically they’re the Irish version of Jamie Oliver. Now I know a lot of people think they’re annoying af but personally I find their enthusiasm really endearing. My favourite thing about their channel is their “5 minute dinner” series which is perfect for students like myself who need something quick, easy and cheap!

(Fun fact: 3/5 of my family members have actually met the Happy Pear and tasted their food…¬†but as is life, the fan, aka me, is not among those three. Sad face.)

2) BonnyRebecca

Bonny is one of my favouriteeee youtubers. She makes lots of videos including vlog type what I eat in a day videos. She’s super positive¬†and her¬†vlogs always make me smile! I enjoy seeing the amazing vegan food she can get when she eat’s out in Australia (and the drone shots of her beautiful country) but the main reason I am including her in this video is for the recipes she shares in her vlogs/recipe videos. A lot of the time she’ll vlog herself and/or her boyfriend Tim making their meals which provides lots of inspiration.

3) ThrivingOnPlants

Next up is Cherie Tu. Cherie is an eighteen year old vegan from Sydney. ¬†Her “What I Eat In A Day” videos are so calming and I love the fact that they’re so short (usually around the 3 minute mark) and she literally just shows you what she makes. She always includes the full recipe in the description box below the video so you can make her beautiful recipes too.

4) CosmicColette

Colette is an Irish gal living in Berlin aka the vegan capital of Europe. My favourite thing about Colette is that she isn’t a size 6 sunkissed glowing skin vegan insta model… she looks like your average gal, and it’s brilliant to see her promoting the vegan lifestyle as a “normal” diet, with vegan junk food to boot! She always posts videos talking about body positivity, eating disorders and even money management and seems like a cool gal all around. The video I’ve embedded above is one where her boyfriend voiced her “What I Ate Today” video and it’s hilarious!

5) JessBeautician

Jess is a British Beautician who loves simple & natural make-up and food.¬†Her recipes are always so simple and easy-to make.. what’s not to love?

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Life

17 Things to do in 2017

  1. Go to The Happy Pear café.
  2. Go vegan for (at least) 30 days.
  3. Budget.
  4. Develop a schedule for my blog and stick to it.
  5. Cut down on chocolate (sigh).
  6. Counteract every negative thought with a positive one.
  7. Get a summer job.
  8. Read (at least) 30 books.
  9. Exercise more.
  10. Actually read some of the extra readings for class (or at least the required ones).
  11. Start using Headspace again and stick to it.
  12. Develop a thicker skin (translation: stop giving a fuck).
  13. Write down 3 good things about your day, every day.
  14. Switch coffees for smoothies.
  15. Stop comparing yourself to girls on Instagram.
  16. Compliment others more often.
  17. Stay optimistic.
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Life

16 Things I Learned in 2016

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1. The phrase “it gets better” is actually not a lie.

2. Pretty blouses are not worth it if you’re going to have to handwash them.

3. Forcing yourself to hang out with friends when you’re feeling down is the best thing you can do.

4. JustEat is simultaneously the best and worst app ever invented.

5. Trying to make everyone like you is a pointless activity. (Yeah. I know. It took me nineteen years to learn this).

6. The media is more fucked than you thought.

7. The world is more fucked than you thought.

8. You’re capable of more than you think.

9. You don’t have to feel guilty for not being able to solve all of your friends problems.

10.¬†When people tried to tell you, you were going to miss school even though right now it doesn’t feel like it… yeah you were right and they were wrong. You only miss your English teacher and some of your classmates you don’t see anymore.

11. Age is just a number baby.

12. Deciding to stop weighing yourself a couple of months ago was a really good decision.

13. Spar’s coffee is actually really, really good.

14. You’re going to lose friends if you don’t make an effort to keep in contact.

15. Breaking up with Rimmel Cosmetics is harder than you thought it would be.

16. You have no idea where you’re gonna be in 5 years time but that’s ok nobody else does either.

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Life, Opinions

Some thoughts on Facebook comments and communication

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Here’s a blog post addressing discussion and anger that I intend on sharing on Facebook that will no doubt be met with minimal discussion and unfounded anger. I apologize in advance.

Recently I’ve found that whenever I share anything mildly controversial on Facebook, a video that might question our daily actions or maybe an article about some political figure or what not.. ¬† it always¬†seems to be met with angry or defensive comments from people who¬†might disagree with what the source says or what my own opinion on it is.

I am 100% cool with you, my Facebook friend,¬†disagreeing with my opinion. I am obviously not always right¬†(and neither are you!) and I am open to hearing what you have to say. Maybe I’ll learn something new or change my opinion entirely, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I embrace it.

All I ask, Facebook commenters, is that you are kind and respectful when leaving comments. Otherwise it just leaves me feeling like I can’t share thoughtful or controversial content, and it leaves my other Facebook friends feeling like they can’t interact without being attacked. And that’s really sad.

Without getting too philosophical, I really believe the reason people are becoming more “extreme” in their thoughts (whether that be conservative or liberal) and the reason we appear to be living in more divisive times, is because of our inability to communicate effectively with one another. Sites like Facebook and Youtube further facilitate this by showing us content similar to that we’ve already shown to like and agree with. If we never expose ourselves to other viewpoints and ideas how can we ever evolve and better ourselves as people?

Maybe I’ll write a more informed and coherent blogpost about this at some point, but for now, I’d just like to thank you for reading this post instead of watching another cat video. I’d also like to encourage you to engage in discussions with other people on Facebook, but please keep it kind, respectful and open-minded.

On a sidenote, I apologize if sharing posts about being kinder to the planet, the animals & other people pisses people off.. I am only doing my best to do what I can to make the world a better place and hopefully encourage some others to do that too ūüôā

(Couldn’t end the blogpost without a bit of sass now could I?)

 

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Life

Gifts for Him (Under ‚ā¨20)

Yesterday I shared¬†10 gifts for the wonderful women in your life, today is part II – 10 gifts for¬†the men. Let this be the Christmas you ditch the socks! All these gems are under ‚ā¨20 so you won’t break the bank either.

1) The Little Book of Drinking Games (Asos)

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2) Beard grooming kit¬†(Mo Bro’s)

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3) Political Suicide Board Game (Etsy)

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 4) Giant Hangover Mug (Asos)

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5) Beer Soap (TheBroBrick)

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6) Muhammad Ali Print (Etsy)

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7) Chrisht I’m Friesian (Hairy Baby)

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8) Man’stuff The Man Drawer Gift Set (Argos)

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9) Gaming Cufflinks (John Lewis)

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10) Poké Ball Serving Bowl Set (ThinkGeek)

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(Published on campus.ie)

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Life

Gifts for Her (Under ‚ā¨20)

Christmas shopping can be hard. Finding cute, unique and beautiful gifts on a student budget is even harder.¬†So, I thought I would share a list with you – a list¬†I’ve complied of some of the gems I’ve come across in my hunt for the perfect gift for the loved ones in¬†my life. The best part? They’re all under ‚ā¨20. So here’s part one of my list – 10 of the quirkiest and pettiest gifts to get the ladies in your life this xmas.

1) Box of homemade bath bombs (Etsy)

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2) Owl hip flask (Paperchase)

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3) Elephant tea mug (Urban Outfitters)

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4) The five minute journal (Amazon)

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5) True friends mug (Etsy)

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6) Kitten photo frame (Asos)

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7) The happy memory box (FromLucy)

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8) White marble daily journal (Urban Outfitters)

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9) Nope mug (Ohh Deer)

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10) Ted Baker Mini Must-Haves (Boots)

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(Published on Campus.ie)

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